Mass Immigration Eats Through The Melting Pot
March 04, 2004, 04:00 AM
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With mass immigration shredding what Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington calls the "Anglo Protestant core" of American civilization, the Open Borders lobby remains delighted with the benefits the shredding brings.

Last week, just as news of Professor Huntington's magisterial article was about to break, historian Stanley Karnow warbled excitedly about the shredding in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Karnow lives in a posh Washington suburb at which those who worry that "immigration threatens to blemish the nation's 'purity'" are invited to look. It used to be what he calls a "dreary lily-white stretch of farms, stables and split level houses." Now, it's a "multicultural, multicolored, multilingual enclave" that is dreary—and white—no more.

[Keep Your Tired, Poor Stereotypes, February 24, 2004.]

"My neighbors," he beams, "include a German architect and his Iranian wife, a Palestinian contractor, a Korean scientist and a car salesman from Madagascar. An Indian physician converted her home into a miniature Taj Mahal, replete with bronze elephants on the lawn."

Racially diverse it may be, though probably not quite as diverse as Mr. Karnow would have us believe or as he seems to believe himself. My bet is that the backbone of the burb remains just as lily-hued as when he moved in.

But what Mr. Karnow likes about it is precisely the fabled "diversity" that mass immigration breeds—"The community center offers classes in tai chi chuan, karate and yoga. Books, periodicals and videos, tapes and DVDs in Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Russian, Tagalog and Vietnamese are available at the public library. At the elementary school, a teacher from Beijing is 'immersing' kindergartners in the rudiments of Mandarin."

What he salutes as "diversity" is in fact little more than cultural incoherence—the disappearance of that "core" Professor Huntington talks about from which a common civilization is able to grow.

The old idea of immigration was that immigrants would "melt" into a new but common pot, and as Mr. Karnow writes—quite correctly—the metaphor no longer applies.

"The 'melting pot' concept," he writes, "glorified as the paradigm, turned out to be an illusion, primarily because people sought to preserve their distinct identities. We are closer to the notion of 'cultural pluralism' broached in 1925 by the Jewish philosopher Horace Kallen. Dismayed by the thought of dissolving his pedigree in an Anglocentric caldron, he suggested a 'loose federation of nationalities … cooperating voluntarily through a multiplicity of autonomous institutions.' Die-hard conformists vehemently decried his proposal as a gambit for championing 'hyphenated' Americanism. But he was remarkably prescient."

Well, Kallen was "remarkably prescient" in part because the mass immigration that began arriving forty years later, after the 1965 Immigration Act, did indeed decline to melt.

Instead, it ate through the pot itself, which is what Mr. Karnow is so happy about.

It's nice he acknowledges this, since the usual argument—heard nowadays mainly from conservatives—is that the immigrants are assimilating.

Mr. Karnow knows better and likes it that way.

It's also interesting he acknowledges the Jewish connection, since it's becoming increasingly obvious. Mr. Karnow, as he makes sure to tell us at the end of his column, is Jewish himself, and so, he also made sure to tell us, was Kallen. And one reason they like immigration so much is precisely because of what it does to the "Anglo Protestant core" of American civilization.

A couple of years ago, the Forward, the principal Jewish newspaper in the country, reported a remark made by Leonard Glickman, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, in explaining why his organization was promoting the resettlement of Somali refugees in the United States: "The more diverse American society is the safer [Jews] are."  Mr. Glickman is not alone.

Perhaps for much the same reason, Jewish neoconservatives like John Podhoretz, David Brooks and several others don't much like the very concept of an "Anglo Protestant core."

Unlike most conservatives, almost all of them rushed to endorse President Bush's amnesty proposals as soon as he announced them, and some like Mr. Brooks have rushed to denounce the Huntington article.

Jewish Americans played a crucial role in pushing for mass immigration throughout the last century, and there's no more reason that should be a secret than there is that Roman Catholics have pushed hard for banning abortion.

Unfortunately, there is a secret about it—because people who mention it tend to get smashed as "anti-Semites."

But these days real anti-Semitism doesn't come from those who talk about the Jewish role in promoting liberal immigration policies. It comes from Arabs and other Third World immigrants whom those very policies have welcomed.

When they start bringing it to Mr. Karnow's "multicultural, multicolored, multilingual" neighborhood, we'll see if he still prefers those who have made it that way to the dreary lily-white people who used to live there.

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[Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future and here for Glynn Custred's review.]